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Fast-moving erosion threatens Hawaii coastal homes

January 8, 2014

HALEIWA, Hawaii (AP) — A Christmas swell on Oahu’s North Shore damaged at least five oceanfront properties, rekindling a decades-old debate about how best Hawaii officials and homeowners should respond to beach erosion and the increasingly rising waters of the Pacific Ocean.

Some property owners want to be able to install a seawall or something similar to protect their property.

Doing so, scientists say, could lead the sand on the nearby coastline — including Sunset Beach, home to some of the world’s top surfing contests — to disappear.

Getting permission to build a seawall is a long, time-consuming process. For the time being, homeowners are resorting to filling sandbags — and when they run out of burlap bags, going to a store to buy up all the pillowcases.

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